Champagne Drink



What to drink in the Champagne Ardenne area.


The production of Champagne came about due to the invention (by the English) of bottles able to take the pressure of 6 to 10 atmospheres. The wine producers of Champagne have never looked back since.  This wine is grown in four areas, three of which can be easily reached from Epernay and Reims. A great deal of mystique has grown up about Champagne, much of it due to the marketing efforts of the wine trade, but basically the producers make a fizzy wine which is normally blended (different vineyards and different years)  to make a constant style wine year after year.

Buying wine directly from the Great Houses (Grand Marques) will not be a great deal cheaper than buying wine at home, but seeking out wines from smaller producers can be great fun and will offer you real financial benefit. Touring any winery producing sparkling wine made by the traditional (i.e. Champagne) method is fascinating - see the Champagne Cellars page for more advice on how to get on such tours. Now, a little on the basics:

The Grapes

  • only three grapes are allowed in Champagne, they all produce white wine (the black grapes can be used to make white wine and are needed to make rose)
  • Chardonnay (the only white grape) used in the blend or alone in Blanc de Blancs (white wine from white grapes)
  • Pinot Noir (the main black grape, the more sophisticated grape) used in the blend or the major part of Blanc de Noir (white wine from black grapes)
  • Pinot Meunier (the second black grape which is more rustic) used in the blend or the minor part (usually) of Blanc de Noir

“Methode Champenoise”

  • The first fermentation is in temperature controlled stainless steel vessels.
  • The secondary fermentation is in the bottle, then the wine rests in the bottle and the yeasty lees impart a biscuity flavour to the wine.
  • Finally, the yeast sediment is ejected (as a frozen plug) and the space in the bottle replaced with wine and extra sugar to give the correct sweetness balance while retaining the fizz.

Other local wines and similar drinks  Pschitt.png

  • Coteaux Champenois, red or white still wine from the Champagne area
  • Rosé des Riceys, Pinot Noir from the town of Les Riceys
  • Marc de Champagne, local spirit made from the press cake left behind when the Champagne grapes are pressed
  • "Pschitt" (a lemonade) much ordered by English school boys who just love to say the name!

We would recommend that you drink plenty of water at lunch on your bike holiday in hot weather as you need to replenish your body’s fluids.  However, that does not mean you should not drink the occasional glass of Champagne too.  In this area it is often available by the glass even in quite humble bars.


Beer and Cider

Mass produced French beer (and German/Dutch equivalents) is freely available, while to the north is the beer heaven of Belgium with over 300 micro-breweries.  Along the bike path are some small beer oBrewery Cidery Mapr cider producers:

  1. Brasserie d'Orgemont,10 Rue de l'Hôtel Dieu, 51600 Sommepy-Tahure
  2. Captain Cider, 08460 Lalobbe, Tel. 03 24 52 80 82
  3. Cidrerie  Warnecourt , Route de Launois, 08090 Warnécourt, Tel. 03 24 37 44 06
  4. Bières La Champenois, 3 Rue de General de Gaulle, 51220 Berméricourt and Brasserie Artisanale Masclaux, 2 Rue St Sebastien, 51220 Berméricourt
  5. AB Bières, 1 Allee des Bois, 51110 St Etienne sur Suippes
  6. Sarl Brasserie Gabriel, 7 Rue des Moncetz, 51160 Fontaine-sur-Ay
  7. Ardwen Brewery, 20 Avenue Roger Ponsart, 08430 Launois sur Vence


logo.gif Home


Increase your website traffic with

©2011-2015 MyBikeGuide